Escambron Beach – Catch Some Sun in San Juan
Update May 2018- Post Maria- The Beach is “officially” open!
Balneario El Escambron is a little beach, just outside of Old San Juan, that is part of the Blue Flag beach program. It is located in Puerta de Tierra section of town, next to the old Normandie Hotel and the Parque Sixto Escobar.
Escambron is described by many as a nice family-friendly beach. It has a small crescent of clean sand and usually calm waters, thanks to the coral reef a short distance from the beach. It also is lined with trees, which provide lots of shade when you feel you have had enough sun. There are lifeguards on duty during the day (8:30am – 5:00pm). You can also see some cool fish if you want to snorkel. We find the best snorkeling (and really it is not good, but it is something!) by following along the floating ropes that border the swimming area.
We enjoy just sitting and taking in the views. The reef usually keeps the waves small on the beach, but beyond the reef you can see surfers trying to catch a wave. Another pretty view is to the west – the Capitol Dome and the El Morro Fort. We also walk up and down the whole area to look for sea glass!
If you bring your own food, there are picnic tables available for your use. If you didn’t bring your own food, there’s a restaurant and other food vendors available for food and drinks.
Balneario Escambron is usually part of the “Blue Flag Program”, meaning there are facilities and they meet certain water quality standards (note- they did not get the award for 2017-2018). The facilities include life guards, outdoor showers (for rinsing off), and restrooms. Last time we went, the restrooms were in need of repair and a good cleaning. If you go to the restaurant, you can use their bathroom, which is much cleaner!
We like to walk around this beach area to the east (or you can drive there and park in the lot there by Scuba Dogs. There is another protected beach called La playita. It is part of the marine park of Escambron and also has a nice swimming area and even some reefs (artificial and real) on the east side closer to the old Normandie hotel for snorkeling or SCUBA. There is also a part of the Old City Wall and a fortification to explore. And you can get really nice pictures of the Condado/Ocean Park and Isla Verde waterfront areas. It is a great “secret” beach area. Just as an aside: We would not venture in this area after dark.
Only swim in the designated area and when the warning flag is green. If they are flying a red or yellow flag, it is not safe to go in the water.
There is a $5.00 plus tax parking fee for gated parking. You can easily take the bus here from either OSJ or Isla Verde areas.
The beach is open 7 days/week Monday- Thursday 8am- 5:30pm and Friday, Saturday,Sunday and holidays 8am – 6pm.
Balneario Escambron is located on Avenida Munoz Rivera, just west of the Normandie Hotel.
Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.
- Balneario Escambron: (18.466238, -66.092849)
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